For a correlation of the lesson plans to the National Science Education Standards for Kindergarten through Grade 4, CLICK HERE.
For a correlation of the lesson plans to the National Science Education Standards for Grades 5 – 8, CLICK HERE.
For a correlation of the lesson plans to the National Science Education Standards for Grades 9 – 12, CLICK HERE.
Here Come the Sunflowers!
Students will have an opportunity to learn about sunflowers and plant sunflower seeds, a native plant of the North American prairie.
Moth Moonflower Pollination Game
CLICK HERE for the pdf file
In this activity, students will become hawkmoths and attempt to collect nectar and pollen from flowers while avoiding becoming prey to the predators lurking in the garden. They will investigate the proboscis of the moth as an adaptation allowing it to feed and survive. They also will investigate ways living things interact with each other in the nocturnal garden.
Sowing Seed of Learning: Establishing and Using Outdoor Classrooms for K-5 Science Education
Prince William County (Virginia) Public Schools
CLICK HERE for Word file
This curriculum provides lessons to engage students in meaningful outdoor experiences that meet education standards. Research has shown that well-executed outdoor education raises student achievement in all content areas, enhances character development, reduces disciplinary problems, and improves student attendance. An outdoor classroom, also sometimes referred to as a schoolyard habitat or community restoration project, is a space set aside for the development of natural habitats in which students and community members can learn about science and the outdoors through a hands on experience. Although most of what is done in an outdoor classroom relates to science, it is also an interactive opportunity for students to learn about math, language arts, social studies, art, and music.
Exploring the Native Plant World (Grades 3 - 4)
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
CLICK HERE for the pdf file
In this unit of Exploring the Native Plant World, students build on their knowledge of what plants must do to survive. Plants need certain ingredients to make food, and they need their friends and partners. Plants have evolved ways to defend themselves, strategies to ensure the survival and continuation of their species, and ways to fit into their habitats. This curriculum has five lesson plans and 25 activities.
North American Pollinator Protection Campaign Curriculum
Nature's Partners, developed by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, is an inquiry learning-based curriculum for young people in the third through sixth grade. It is comprised of seven modules. Each module offers three or four activities designed to engage young people in active, investigative science following a learning cycle of
The activities are appropriate for the formal classroom or for a nonformal education setting and can easily be adapted to fit the needs of the students and the teaching situation. The curriculum also includes service learning components and it can be adapted to fit the needs of the teacher or youth leader.
Night Friends: American Bats
National Wildlife Federation
Bats play a vital role in the health of our natural world, and are fascinating creatures. Throughout the tropics, the seed dispersal and pollination activities of fruit- and nectareating
bats are vital to the survival of rain forests, with some bats acting as “keystone’’ species. Each of these species of bats supports plants that are crucial to entire ecosystems. Many plants bloom at night, using unique odors and special flower shapes that attract bats. With these lesson plans, students investigate adaptations that increase a bat’s chance of finding food and surviving in a particular habitat.
Project Seasons, Shelburne Farms
CLICK HERE for a pdf file
Students explore the relationship between plants and their pollinators. As an extension, have students conduct a pollination survey observing a flower over time noting the different types of pollinators and behavior of pollinators that visit it.
Students will: understand the pollination process and show examples of bee pollination on specific plants and understand the interdependence between insects, plants, and humans.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (and First Bloom)
Students will observe pollinators at work and understand that each pollinator is attracted to a certain type of flower. Students will make associations between the pollinators and the plants they visit.
Plants and Animals: Partners in Pollination
Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
Ultimately, all life on Earth depends on plants to provide food, shelter, and oxygen for other living things. Consequently, plant reproduction is crucial to all other life on this planet. The first step in plant reproduction is the intricate process called pollination, which occurs when pollen grains, the male germ cell of a plant, reach the stigma, the female reproductive part of the same species of plant. Depending on the plant species, a flower can produce male, female, or both structures. Pollination can also occur within the same flower.
Most flowering plants (90 percent) depend on animals to make the vital pollen-grain delivery. The remaining flowering plants rely on wind and some-times splashing raindrops to ferry pollen, but this is a less precise method. Pollinating animals do the job for a reward: food, usually in the form of nectar.
Lesson Plan 1 http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/partners_in_pollination/lesson1_main.html objectives include: identifying the plant parts involved in reproduction; identifing the animal (bee) structures involved in pollination; and demonstrating how pollen moves from the male stamen to the female stigma.
Lesson Plan 2 http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/partners_in_pollination/lesson2_main.html objectives include interpreting the links between pollination and food production.
Lesson Plan 3 http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/partners_in_pollination/lesson3_main.html objectives include describing the complementary relationships between pollinators and the plants they pollinate and identifying adaptations that flowers have developed to "encourage" pollination.
Build a Crawling Insect!
Blandy Experimental Farm & The State Arboretum of Virginia
CLICK HERE for a pdf file
Students will learn the basic characteristics of insects by discussing and building their own “crawling” insects.
The Blossoming of Flower Power
New York Times
In this lesson, students explore the reproductive functions of flowers by participating in a flower dissection lab.
In this lesson, students will identify the different parts of a flower and understand their functions and understand the importance of pollen for plant reproduction and diversity.
Use or Abuse?
New York Times
In this lesson, students understand the meaning of “use value” of nature’s resources by researching and writing children’s books personifying an aspect of nature. They then apply their knowledge to understanding use value in their local communities and producing public service announcements.
Bugs Aren't All Bad
Educator's Reference Desk
Consumer concerns regarding the environment are increasing. Citizens generally have a low tolerance for home and landscape pests while at the same time, they are concerned about environmental pollution and poisoning of our food, soil and water. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an approach to managing pests with reduced environmental impact. Citizens can adopt IPM in homes and landscapes and reduce pesticide use and exposure for families. Students have learned the basics of insect and disease biology (form, function, life cycles). In this lesson, students learn that some insects are beneficial and that they also have enemies that naturally manage pest populations. Students will also learn least toxic methods of pest management in the landscape.
There are four activities:
Activity 1: What's Bugging You
Activity 2: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Activity 3: Food for Thought
Activity 4:Build a Bug
There is an excellent list of education resources about pollinators at:
For a great curriculum about bats, go to:
The San Antonio Botanical Garden prepared a curriculum for visiting students in grades K - 5 but this could be adapted for use with any garden.